Appetizers
August 23, 2006
Taka's Here, Taka's There

Pay attention, this is complicated, and is told best straight and chronologically: Taka Watanabe's profile as an artful Sacramento sushi chef took off in the spring of 1998, when he opened Taka's Sushi at 18th and S. Three years later he and his wife Susan opened a second branch of Taka's in Fair Oaks, and a little more than two years after that they sold their interest in the 18th and S site to Benny Hom. OK, at this point there's two restaurants known popularly as Taka's, one in midtown Sacramento, one in Fair Oaks. Watanabe was at the one in Fair Oaks, and no longer was affiliated with the one in midtown.

A couple of months ago the Taka's at 18th and S closed, and Benny Hom began to look for a new site. According to his brother and business partner, Jason Hom, he's found it, quarters at 15th and I now occupied by Zen Toro, which is to close soon.

Late yesterday, Watanabe announced that he'd just signed a lease to return to the vacant restaurant site at 18th and S, with the reopening anticipated perhaps in December but more likely in January. The Watanabes tentatively plan to call it Taka's Sushi Midtown.

So what will the Homs be calling their new place at 15th and I, which they hope to introduce in about a month? Taka's Sushi or Taka's Japanese Cuisine, says Jason Hom, though he also mentioned that the final decision depends on some unfinished and unspecified "paperwork." That paperwork just might involve clarification of who actually owns the rights to the name Taka's Sushi, or any variation thereof.

The Watanabes also are pondering the issue, but in the meantime have their hands full with other matters. For one, they remain partners in another Japanese sushi restaurant, Kru, along J Street in midtown Sacramento. Taka Watanabe also is preparing to represent Sacramento's sushi community in the second annual California State Sushi Competition, to be Sept. 18 at Memorial Auditorium, just across 15th Street from what may or may not be Taka's.


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